Two young companions, Totho and Salma, arrive at Tark to spy on the menacing Wasp army, but are there mistakenly apprehended as enemy agents. By the time they are freed, the city is already under siege.
Over in the imperial capital the young emperor, Alvdan, is becoming captivated by a remarkable slave, the vampiric Uctebri, who claims he knows of magic that can grant eternal life.
In Collegium, meanwhile, Stenwold is still trying to persuade the city magnates to take seriously the Wasp Empire's imminent threat to their survival.
In a colourful drama involving mass warfare and personal combat, a small group of heroes must stand up against what seems like an unstoppable force. This volume continues the story that so brilliantly unfolded in Empire in Black and Gold - and the action is still non-stop.
Tchaikovsky returns to the caste-haunted insect-themed world of 2010 s Empire in Black and Gold\n, as the inapt kinden realize that their natural gifts and old knowledge are no longer sufficient to allow them to dominate their apt cousins, who can use technology. The Wasp kinden have been slowly conquering the land for three generations, and the people of the Lowlands are finally waking to the danger that confronts them. As Wasps threaten Collegium, a city of innovators and a rallying point for Lowland resistance, the diverse protagonists struggle to salvage what they can, unleashing forces beyond their control. The story will be recognizable to anyone familiar with modern fantasy (or even the Persian invasion of Greece), but Tchaikovsky s setting is innovative, the characters are engaging, and the battles are epic. Several further volumes are planned. \n